Last night I asked my classes to create an intention to be playful and curious in the practice, and then I guided them into a rather challenging Sun Salute sequence. We took the Sun Salutation apart and played with each of its discreet components. I had them exploring complicated variations in lunge, plank, and downward-facing dog.
I encouraged them to fall and laugh, then get up and try again. Theoretically they seemed up for it, but there was lots of embarrassment when they actually tumbled.
Sometimes I wonder if I get too playful in my classes. Sometimes I think I need to resist the easy joke. Sometimes I think I should let more silence grow in the room.
Sometimes I worry that my lightheartedness might be mistaken for a lack of understanding that yoga is an inherently spiritual practice.
And then I think: Nah. My people get it. (Laughter is a very deep practice.)
Sometimes I just need to open the “Yoga Playground” and let my students be goofs; let them cut loose from the confines of the postures and just play, see what would happen if…
Lots of people in last night’s Yoga Playground came in sore from that practice today. When they tell me things like,”My abs are still sore from yesterday’s practice, I smile and “tsk,” and commiserate, but really I think: “Good!”
What would a good day in the playground be without a few skinned knees eh? What would a day in the playground be without seeing how long you could hold your breath, or how long you could hang upside down before passing out?
“Hey Mom! Watch me do this!”